Resilience and Multiple Stigmatized Identities: Lessons from Transgender Persons’ Reflections on Aging

  • Susan H. McFadden
  • Scott Frankowski
  • Heather Flick
  • Tarynn M. Witten


This chapter describes the qualitative analysis of responses given by 122 transgender persons aged 61 and older who answered nine questions in an online survey about hopes and fears about aging, strategies for successful aging, and wisdom to convey to younger transgender individuals. More than 70 % stated they believe they are aging successfully. We identified six components of the resilience repertoires that enabled them to say they are aging successfully despite the stigma associated with their gender-variant identities and sexual minority status. Queer theory and the idea of intersectionality contributed to our interpretation of the resilience repertoires.


Transgender Resilience Successful aging Queer theory Intersectionality Stigma Spirituality Self-acceptance Advocacy Agency 



The authors wish to thank Samantha Hahn for assistance in organizing the qualitative responses.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan H. McFadden
    • 1
  • Scott Frankowski
    • 2
  • Heather Flick
    • 3
  • Tarynn M. Witten
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Wisconsin OshkoshOshkoshUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Texas at El PasoEl PasoUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Wisconsin OshkoshOshkoshUSA
  4. 4.Center for the Study of Biological ComplexityVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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